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Culturally Responsive Educator’s Perspective

Culturally Responsive Educator’s Perspective

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INSTRUCTIONS

The following case studies incorporate many of the issues, facts, and topics considered in this course. Thoughtfully read/watch and consider the challenges embedded in each situation. Then write an expository essay response to one of the scenarios. Your essay should be informative, descriptive, and explanatory. Remember, expository essays compare, explore, and discuss problems.  Your purpose is to explain and report on the situation or event from a culturally responsive educator’s perspective. In other words, you are the teacher.

In writing your essay, be absolutely certain that your essay actually responds to the case study you have selected; and that you,use the course’s required text, readings, group and individual student presentations, your notes and other resources in defending your ideas. A satisfactory essay incorporates and engages with the main sources for this course, therefore, be sure to consider all of the evidence available to you in constructing your answer.

  1. Pluna Curry-Bey, is the only child of Betty and Dominick Curry-Bey. He now attends a new charter school several blocks from his house after several years in the failing neighborhood public school. Pluna has many friends in the neighborhood that he’s known all of his life, but he has not made many friends in the new setting. Pluna enjoys outdoor sports, but has not joined any of the groups or joined his classmates during recess. Besides, he is overweight and often teased. With crushing concern for her son’s emotional and physical health and overwhelmingly motivated by her husband’s recent diagnoses of end-stage kidney failure and the imminent need for dialysis, Mrs. Curry-Bey committed to changing their life style. Both she and her husband have type II diabetes and hypertension. Unfortunately, the closest grocery store is located 20-miles away in a neighboring suburb; therefore the family has limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

2              Mrs. Crumblesomeis a 60 year old widow. She has a limited income, which consists of her husband’s social security and a small pension. Although her home is paid for it is over 90 years old, and in need of repair. She’s recently gained custody of her 3 grandchildren, who’ve been homeless and have periodically lived with her for short stints over the past 10 years. Their mother, Mrs. Crumblesome’s son’s on-again-off-again girlfriend was declared unfit to parent and has been charged with child abuse and neglect. Her son has never been responsible or active in his children’s lives. Both parents have chronic substance addictions. The oldest child is 10 years old with a possible emotional disability and in the fifth grade; the only granddaughter is a seven years old, second grader; and then there is four year old recently diagnosed with mild autism.

Mrs. Crumblesome frequently visits the school. During one of her visits, Mrs. Crumblesome shared her frustrations and anxieties of grand-parenting, in addition to her apprehension of summer break when school closes in a month.

3              Mike was a very bright and confidently precocious 8th grader. He is a pleasant student and a strong athlete. He lives within walking distance of the school and therefore became involved in many afterschool activities such as open gym, intramural sports, and the art club. Mike is popular and well-liked by both his peers and the adult staff members. He was even chosen by his classmates to represent the class as their student council representative. Although they were never married and no longer “a couple”, both of Mike’s parent’s attend most school events together. They have an amicable relationship and effectively co-parent their son.

However, returning from Spring break, Mike seemed withdrawn and unusually quiet. When questioned, he shares with you that his father intended to marry a woman he’d only recently met. And, she has four sons that he has never met. He also shares with you that his mother and her best friend, “Aunt Carrie” (as he calls her), also announced their pending nuptials.

4              Amadi and Aaliyah Issa are the parents of Kadeem, a 14 year old middle schooler. Kadeem is a second generation American living in a growing suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Kadeem’s family makes every effort to involve him in extracurricular activities on the weekends and weekday evenings. He also receives tutoring for reading during school twice a week and after-school once a week. Kadeem sees himself as an “American”, and has made many friends of different cultures. His family recognizes the traditional holidays of their culture, but rarely associate with the Arab-American community, other than relatives living in the Akron-Cleveland area.

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Mr. and Mrs. Issa were understandably over protective and concerned for their family, especially their children. Unfortunately, the recent Boston Marathon bombings only reminded them of the social and political aftermath of 911. They are skeptical and suspicious of their neighbors and the school. You’ve noticed that Kadeem has become increasingly aggressive and easily agitated. He is distracted and losing interest in school. You suspect a few older students may be bullying him.

5              A new family has moved into the neighborhood. They just seemed to appear mid-November. The 30-ish disheveled gentleman introduced himself as the father of the five children who were huddled closely around one another. He completed the registration forms with some assistance, but seemed embarrassed. He shares that they are living with relatives temporarily, but his children are excited about attending Xavier Knolls Elementary School, and that they’ve not been in school for over a month. The family is relocating from a rural area located about 40-minutes outside of Athens, Ohio. Most of the population there are farmers and factory workers, although the recent economy has made a high percentage of the residents unemployed.

The middle child is placed in your classroom. During the course of the day you gather that she is lacking essential math skills and you are curious about her reading skills. She is a pleasant child and seems eager to make friends, but is rejected because of her poor hygiene. Her clothing is soiled and she does not have adequate outer-wear for the climate in Northeastern Ohio. Finally, she seems very aware that she is “different”.

6              Cyrus was what the adults in his life called, “socially awkward”. He always seemed uncomfortable in group settings. He enjoyed the company of a few longtime friends, but rarely socialized outside that circle. Upon entering high school, when his friends were developing other relationships (both platonic and romantic) “Cy”, as he liked to be called, became more and more socially distant. He was a likeable young man, not a “shining star”, but never in trouble. By 11th grade he started spending more and more time alone. He engaged in precarious behaviors, such as drinking and driving, and was known to experiment with prescription drugs.  By mid-semester, Cy was at-risk of failing and his relationship with his parents was explosive.

Then he seemed to change overnight. He wrote elaborate letters to his parents apologizing for the grief he had given them and thanked them for being his parents. He also gave several of his favorite and valued possessions to his best buddies. His overall demeanor was peaceful.

7              Over the long weekend you receive a call that one of your students has been hospitalized. The report says that Ebony Roman was walking to the neighborhood library with her cousins and was jumped by several girls. The library security attempted to break the fight, but was also over taken by the adult men and women who jeered from the circle which ensured no way of escape for Ebony. She was beaten and left on the sidewalk comforted by her family and a few library staff members until the ambulance arrived.

You are asked by your principal to describe the student. Your statement reads, “Ebony has always been an A-B student. She is a little shy, and rarely speaks out in class, but demonstrates her understanding through her course work. She has always dressed impeccably. Ebony is tall and attractive; although she is only 14, she could easily be mistaken for 17 or 18, because of her height and her quiet, serious demeanor. At lunchtime she usually sits alone reading a book. She and her mother are very close and really enjoyed one another’s company.”

(FASTFORWARD) After several weeks Ebony returns to school. She seems different. Her mother reports that Ebony has acquired a problematic group of friends, and a cheeky attitude.

 

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